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Pacquiao leaving door open for Mayweather rematch

Floyd Mayweather Jr Manny Pacquiao

By Eric Baldwin: If Floyd Mayweather Jr. decides to return to the ring, Manny Pacquiao is very interested in facing him in a rematch. Pacquiao just recently made a comeback to boxing earlier this month in taking the WBO welterweight title off of fellow Top Rank stable-mate Jessie Vargas by a 12 round unanimous decision on pay-per-view.

Now the 37-year-old Pacquiao is looking bigger fish to fry by letting the media know that he’s interested in facing Mayweather Jr. in a rematch. Pacquiao lost to Mayweather a year ago by a 12 round unanimous decision in May 2015.

The loss bugs Pacquiao, because he took the fight with an injured right shoulder, which prevented him from getting all the power on his punches that he needed and wanted to. There are a lot of boxing fans that would be very interested in seeing a rematch between Pacquiao and Mayweather, even though their previous fight a year ago was a big disappointment.

The numbers might not be as high as last year’s fight between them, but it would still be expected to bring in over 2 million buys, which are very good numbers. It’s up to Mayweather whether a rematch takes place against Pacquiao. He’s the decider. Pacquiao has already let fans know that he wants a second fight against Mayweather.

If Mayweather doesn’t return to the ring to give Pacquiao a rematch, then he could very well be facing unbeaten WBO super featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko (6-1, 4 KOs) in early 2017. Lomachenko will need to win tonight’s fight against Nicholas Walters (26-0-1, 21 KOs) for him to have a chance of getting the Pacquiao fight, but he’s expected to win that fight on HBO World Championship Boxing.

Pacquiao and Lomachenko would face each other at lightweight (135lbs) or potentially in a catch-weight in the light welterweight division. The 28-year-old Lomachenko doesn’t to go over lightweight, because he feels it would be too much weight for him to go up. Lomachenko is 5’6”, and just a little bit shorter than the 5’6 1/2” Pacquiao.

“If he comes back into boxing there is a possibility, but right now we are not talking or discussing about that,” Pacquiao told Kyodo news agency. “I don’t know when my career will end. I realized I felt lonely inside because … I am no longer active in the sport of boxing. I asked myself if I can still fight, and I decided to come back and continue the journey of my career.”

Pacquiao could do the legwork to make another fight against Mayweather happen by speaking with him directly. Pacquiao did it before, so he might be able to do it a second time if he runs into him somewhere in Mayweather’s hometown Las Vegas. If Pacquiao waits for his promoter Bob Arum to put the rematch against Mayweather together he might be waiting a long time.

Pacquiao will be out of the ring until the first quarter of 2017. Mayweather will have a lot of time to make a decision whether he’s going to give Pacquiao a rematch or not. However, if Mayweather doesn’t make a decision after a certain point, then Pacquiao’s promoter Bob arum will likely go ahead and match him either against Lomachenko or unbeaten Terence Crawford.

Arum promotes both of those guys, so making a fight between one of them and Pacquiao will be quite. Those are not big names though in boxing. Lomachenko and Crawford are just guys that have a lot of talent and are known to the hardcore fans. Pacquiao would be doing them and Top Rank a favor by fighting them. Pacquiao can make more money fighting Mayweather or Saul Canelo Alvarez.

Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach likes the idea of him fighting Canelo, because he believes it’s a winnable fight, but it doesn’t look like Pacquiao or Arum shares that same opinion. Never the less, Pacquiao can probably make considerably more money fighting Canelo than facing the likes of Lomachenko or Crawford. Pacquiao’s last fight against Jessie Vargas brought in a little over 300,000 buys on pay-per-view.

A fight between Pacquiao and Canelo would clearly be one that would go well over 1 million buys. There would be more money for Pacquiao, but also a lot more risk. There would be danger of Pacquiao being knocked out if he got hit by one of Canelo’s big power shots. We saw what happened to Amir Khan earlier this year in his 6th round knockout loss to Canelo.

“Actually, we are not talking about or discussing about my next fight because I am so busy working in the office as a senator,” Pacquiao said said. “That’s my focus right now.”

Pacquiao isn’t saying when he’s going to be retiring from boxing, which has to be good news to his promoter Arum and to his fans. However, it might end badly for Pacquiao if he starts getting matched against guys he can’t beat like Crawford or even Lomachenko at this point.

Pacquiao didn’t look particularly explosive in his last fight against Jessie Vargas. He fought like someone who didn’t want to get hit. He wasn’t fighting with the same explosive bursts that he’d done throughout his pro career. Pacquiao didn’t even look as good as he had in his previous fight against Tim Bradley.

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